It all started with an idea one day to raise chickens. Since I was working out of the house and had the time, I decided that I was going to build the coop and enlisted the help of my father. I started my research and found so many great ideas that I couldn’t make up my mind! I wanted a coop that was easily accessible, simple to clean, and could accommodate 4 – 6 chickens. I also wanted to keep the coop semi-close to our house so I knew that I had to have a look that would blend into the design of our house. I found the chicken coop that matched my criteria. I redesigned it somewhat reducing the size and was on my way.
It didn’t matter that I had never built a structure in my life- my dad and I had recently completed installing stacked stone to a fireplace wall which I hadn’t done before, so I felt emboldened and ready to take on the challenge. I located a spot in the yard, and my husband cleared and leveled the ground. Every Tuesday for 8 months my father would come over and we would discuss, plan and construct our coop. Gathering ideas and figuring out the construction needs we slowly but surely built a little each work day.
Living in sunny Southern California, I didn’t worry too much about cold weather, but I did insulate in order to reduce the heat in the summer. The only windows that I could find that were reasonably priced were small, fixed shed windows. To allow fresh air and ventilation, we kept the area above the windows up to the roof open, covering the space with ¼ inch chicken wire for safety. I installed linoleum on the floor for ease of cleanup. I didn’t want to purchase roof caps due to expense, so I fashioned roof caps from the leftover shingles. Since my home is stuccoed, I decided that the coop should be as well. Lesson learned: watching a how-to video on stucco application does not totally prepare oneself for the actual application process! That was not the easiest process for a construction newbie! The coop was painted to match the house using leftover paint on hand.
I added a little plastic cupola, found on the internet, spraying the top black. I constructed 2 roosts at varied levels inside and an additional roost outside in the run. For the outside run area, chicken wire was buried 8 inches below the dirt.
For his hard work, I named the coop after my father whose help was indispensible to me.